In work injuries cases, sometimes a dispute arises over the exact nature and extent of the injury in question. Illinois workers’ compensation law gives each side the right to disagree with the initial findings of a medical professional and allows the right request an independent medical evaluation (IME). Typically, this situation occurs when an insurance company questions the findings of your doctor’s medical evaluation. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to recognize that the insurance company may be attempting to deny you benefits. It is always best to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your legal rights are being protected.
Who Chooses the Doctor for the Independent Medical Exam?
The goal of an IME is to get an opinion from an objective and neutral third party. Unfortunately, in practice things do not always appear to be quite so objective. Most of the time these exams are occurring because the insurance company is disputing your doctor’s evaluations. When the insurance company requests the independent medical exam, they usually will also select a doctor. The insurance company pays for the IME, which is fair, but it creates a potential problem of incentives. When the company picks the doctor and pays for the exam, how can you trust that the exam will be completely objective and fair? In fact the IME may be biased, so if your insurance company is requiring an IME it is advisable to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help ensure a fair process.
What Happens when the Independent Doctor Disagrees with my Doctor?
If the results of the independent medical exam come in, and the report says that you are not injured and should return to work, the insurance company will likely immediately deny you any workers’ compensation benefits. This is crushing and will feel extremely unfair. You are in a situation where you and your trusted doctor know that you injuries are real and debilitating. Do not give up; a workers’ compensation attorney can help. A workers’ compensation attorney can put your case together and get you a hearing in front of a truly independent arbitrator. You will want your attorney to comprehensively review the medical reports from your doctor and the insurance company’s doctor. The bottom line is that the independent medical examiner, requested and paid for by the insurance company, does not get the final say. If you have been injured at your workplace, you deserve full and fair benefits. Your attorney can work with your doctor to help make that happen.
Contact An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workplace injuries deserve full and fair benefits. Unfortunately, after you have been injured on the job an insurance company can sometimes make that process a challenge. Your doctor might understand you and your body better than a third party doctor. If an independent medical examiner says that you are fine, but you know you are not, you should contact an experienced Chicago workers compensation attorney immediately. It is not fair or right for you to be forced to work through a real injury. An attorney can help protect your legal rights.